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REOs and Shorts Account for 48% of Pending Sales in California

Twenty-eight percent of homebuyers in California who signed their name on the dotted line last month are buying REO properties. At the same time, short sale deals made up some 19 percent of the state's pending home sales in May.
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These are ""the latest figures"":http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2011newsreleases/maypendingsalesindex/ released by the ""California Association of Realtors"":http://www.car.org (C.A.R.), based on contracts signed in May. The group's pending sales data is generated from a survey of more than 70 local Realtor associations and multiple listing services (MLSs) throughout the state.

The total share of distressed homes under contract in the Golden State last month was unchanged from April at 48 percent.

While the distressed portion of pending sales held steady, the number of individual transactions rose as the state's overall pending sales numbers increased.

C.A.R. says its pending sales index, on the whole, was up 1.6 percent from April's reading and up 12 percent from

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May 2010. It's the first year-over-year increase recorded in 18 months.

""May marked the first year-over-year increase in pending sales since November 2009 and the largest annual increase since August 2009,"" said Beth L. Peerce, president of C.A.R.

Peerce added, ""May's increase in pending sales is consistent with our expectation that home sales in the second half of 2011 should be higher compared with the second half of 2010, and as a result, annual sales for all of 2011 should match or exceed last year's annual pace.""

While a 48 percent distressed market share is significant by all accounts, some areas of California are nearly fully saturated in distressed sales.

C.A.R.'s data show that in Madera County, REOs and short sales claimed 90 percent of all pending sales last month, a jump up from 56 percent the month before.

In Lake County the distressed share in May was 80 percent, and in Solano County it topped out at 71 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 17 percent of pending sales in Humboldt County were distressed. Marin County logged 28 percent, and San Diego County registered 29 percent.

Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, and C.A.R. says the data offer solid information on future changes in the direction of the market. A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property. C.A.R. explained that the majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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